Sometimes an idea comes along that is so utterly simple and obvious that it is utterly brilliant.
New Scientist reports that Cancer Research UK has decided to accept that it will not be top of the search rankings when people search for information on cancer. But rather than allow people to get unclear, confused, partial or incorrect information, they have developed a new strategy, and it’s a brilliant way to influence the world.
Number 1 on many English language searches – whether for “cancer” or for various forms of the disease or its treatments is an influential website called Wikipedia. So Cancer Research has decided that, if it can’t beat Wikipedia, it will make sure that the information it holds is accurate and clear. It has charged its own experts with joining Wikipedians and cleaning up the entries.
A while ago there was some research showing Wikipedia to be about as reliable on science entries as a top printed, edited encyclopaedia with expert contributors. Now, it seems we’ll get the best of both worlds: absolutely up-to-date, with expert-reviewed content. Brilliant.